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The Diary

May 5, 2009

The DiaryThe Diary by Eileen Goudge is a novel that begs to be read on a warm summer afternoon, sitting in a comfy rocker on your front porch with a tall glass of ice cold iced tea. At just over 200 pages, an afternoon is all it takes to gobble up this slender book. Best selling author of Such Devoted Sisters and Woman in Red (just to name a few) Eileen Goudge has written a classic love story.

Two sisters find a diary in the attic of their mother’s home. Their father Bob passed away just last year and their mother Elizabeth now lay in a near comatose state after suffering a massive stroke. As they begin to read Elizabeth’s diary over a shared bottle of wine, they come to realize that the courtship between their mom and dad was not the fairy tale they were led to believe and in fact their dad wasn’t even Elizabeth’s true love.

The diary takes them back to 1951 when Elizabeth is twenty and lived in a small town in Nebraska. She is expecting a proposal from her longtime boyfriend Bob any day now when she runs into her childhood friend AJ (who had spent the previous three years in a Juvenile Detention Center for torching his Uncle’s car) at the county fair. Even though Elizabeth loves Bob (and who doesn’t since he is known around town as a really nice guy) she doesn’t feel passionate about him.

When AJ confesses to having secretly loved Elizabeth for years and then later jumps into a creek to save Elizabeth, she realizes that she too has feelings for him. But when AJ is accused of a serious crime, Elizabeth has a heartbreaking decision to make, one that will affect all of their lives.

This is a little book with a big heart. If you don’t like love stories that are all neatly tied up with a pretty pink bow at the end, then this book probably wouldn’t be your cup of tea. Having said that, if you’re in the mood to read a simple romantic tale, then grab yourself a copy and indulge. Sure, it is a bit cheesy at times (and eye-rolling worthy more than once) but overall I found The Diary to be a bittersweet, easy read.

It was a lively number, like nothing she’d ever heard – not so much music as the pulse beat of life itself. Before she knew it, she was on her feet, twirling across the dance floor with AJ. She wasn’t thinking about her blistered heels. Or her boyfriend. Or even her mother, who might at that very moment be launching a frantic search for her. It was as if a window was thrown open inside her, letting in a gust of fresh air that had blown away all the old fears and reservations clinging to her like wet sheets of newspaper. There was only the music and AJ.

The Diary was written with one question in mind – how well do you really know your parents? For some, this book could be used to open the lines of communication between adult children and their parents.

One more cool thing – Vanguard Press launched a website called Bet’s Diary to promote the book. You can find discussion questions, a menu to celebrate Mother’s Day with your own mom and even some questions you could ask her about her early years.

Check back here tomorrow to read how Eileen Goudge used her own parents undying passion as her inspiration for The Diary.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2009 10:14 am

    That book sounds so interesting. I certainly hope I’m not as stodgy as our son thinks I am.

  2. May 5, 2009 10:43 am

    Sounds like it might be the perfect book to read while floating in a pool. 🙂 I couldn’t get into Woman in Red, but I’d like to give this author another try. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. May 5, 2009 10:45 am

    This looks like a good one. I’ve seen it around a few places and thought it might be one I would like.

  4. May 5, 2009 12:23 pm

    It sounds like a sweet story and I smiled at your “tied up with a pink bow” comment because the cover actually has a bow, but a green one instead. LOL.

    I don’t own a diary but if I did, I shudder at the though of my kids reading it.

  5. May 6, 2009 12:06 am

    Nice blog about book reviews.

  6. May 6, 2009 11:44 am

    I feel like I should write down my parents’ stories … I can’t trust my memory with all I’ve been told! My mother was engaged to someone else when she met my father … hmm, I really should get all the details!

  7. May 7, 2009 8:31 pm

    I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for the review!

  8. May 8, 2009 9:56 pm

    this is a book that I really want to read. Thanks for such a great review!


  1. Guest Post by Eileen Goudge « Stephanie’s Written Word

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